Petrol Head Maps

Designing Petrol Head Maps

Walkers, runners, and cyclists may be the biggest customer base for fabric maps, but this week we’ve become Petrol Head Maps designers!

Wright Racing

Fabric maps present a solution

We’re regularly contacted by sports folk who see a unique niche where fabric maps present the solution to a big problem. Ultra 4 racing is the latest.

Ultra 4: The Hammer

Drew (Yeti) Wright of Wright Off Road introduced me to his sport between Christmas and New Year. Burning across the Mojave Desert in California, “King of  the Hammers” race of beefed up 4 x 4’s takes place in the Johnson Valley early next month.

There’s always a possibility the electronics will let you down

Why a SplashMap? As Drew explains, “GPS units can suffer, are super expensive to buy and update and you really need a back-up”. Looking at the website you can see why. The vehicles are mostly engine and suspension held together with a cage of roll-bars. These vehicles are designed to bounce and roll. “There’s always a possibility the electronics will let you down” he explained, “We need a Petrol Head Map”.

The map guides you off a cliff


Initial & final prototype base maps came straight from our International Make-a-Map service



This was illustrated when Drew and the merchandisers for the event commissioned SplashMaps to make prototype maps, providing waypoints with hazily implied links between. Asking for better guidance on the route our designer warned that “SplashMaps can’t take responsibility if the map guides you off a cliff”. The surprised response? “If there is a cliff there, you can guarantee they’ll all be headed straight for it anyway!”.

A closely guarded secret

What’s on the map? The race route itself is a closely guarded secret, only revealed to the racers on the day. But there are segments within the race that are well established, and these are what we captured from a list of USA format Lat Lon coordinates. Start/ Finish detail and pit stops are marked-in on our standard 1;40 000 scale map.

Full-sized Johnson Valley SplashMaps adds detail to the approach roads

On race day, of course, the route can be marked on with a pen!

Keep the dust out of my face

How better to breathe easy.

“I love it,” said Drew on seeing the branded design we’ve set-up for the Pro fabric flat maps. “Now, can you arrange some Toob neckwarmers with the same map image? It’ll help keep the dust out of my face and avoid Lake Lung,” he said. Hard against the deadline (the race is next week) there’s only one thing we could say, “Sure Drew,” we said, “they’ll be on the same batch”.


Events that rattle, tear, mush or crush maps to death

Know any events where any other maps would just rattle, tear, mush or crush to death? Do you think fabric maps are the answer? Get in touch NOW with your ideas!

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